Report links Nuggets to Chris Paul. It likely won’t be the last big name attached to Denver in free agency.

Report links Nuggets to Chris Paul. It likely won’t be the last big name attached to Denver in free agency.

Point guard Chris Paul plans to speak with the Denver Nuggets when the NBA’s free-agency period begins July 1, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The Times, citing an unnamed executive, reported that the Clippers point guard will also talk to the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs.

The Nuggets, who have have ample money to spend on free agents this summer, are likely to be aggressive in making a play for a marquee free agent that could join a young core that includes Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris.

Among the big names on the market, in addition to Paul, are forwards Gordon Hayward of Utah, Paul Millsap of Atlanta and Blake Griffin of the Clippers. Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, who was promoted to that position from general manager Wednesday, has said the Nuggets will also prioritize attempting to sign their own free-agent forward, Danilo Gallinari.

Chris Paul #3 of the Los ...
Gene Sweeney Jr, Getty Images

Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives past Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the second half of their 98-93 win in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 28, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Nuggets pursued Dwayne Wade last season, and they were among the star guard’s final two options before he decided to return to his hometown and join the Chicago Bulls.

Denver is likely to make big pushes at players of similar stature again this July. Connelly, during an interview with Altitude Radio this week, said he’s been contacted by several agents who have expressed their clients’ desire to play alongside Jokic, the Nuggets’ 6-foot-10 center who is considered perhaps the league’s top passing big man.

It’s unclear what players those agents represent. Paul did provide praise for Jokic following the Nuggets win over the Clippers at the Pepsi Center back in March.

“Jokic, he’s solid,” Paul said after that game. “The way they play off with him and stuff like that, I think Mike (Malone) has him playing pretty well.”

Paul is expected to opt out of his contract with the Clippers and has until June 29 to officially do so. Paul can earn up to $205 million over five years with the Clippers or $152 million over four years from another team, the Times reported.

The first order for Connelly and new general manager Arturas Karnisovas is Thursday’s NBA draft. The Nuggets have the 13th, 49th and 51st overall picks.

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